newlash09

To preamp or not

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9 hours ago, newlash09 said:

Anyone ever heard a Belles 28A reference pre amp with Phono inputs please. Looks like a quality peice of kit. But nothing much out there on the net .

Other option that I found is a T+A P 1260R -1400

And the Belles 28A reference pre amp is 1900 USD

Iam thinking of going either with the cheapest T+A or the belles with the Phono stage as I plan on getting a turntable next :)

Any thoughts between these two please. Thanks for your time. 

Have you decided for definite if you are going to end up tr-amping your speakers or sticking to bi-amping? This may affect your choice of pre-amp.

Right now I'm inclined to suggest you get your power amp / speakers sorted out first and see what you think of the sound. Trying to change loads of things at once is likely to lead to confusion IMHO. Also, if you like the sound without a pre-amp then you might decide that you don't need one.

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1 hour ago, MartinC said:

if you like the sound without a pre-amp then you might decide that you don't need one.

Or if you do decide you prefer the sound with a preamp if you are biamping your loudspeakers if you used balanced inputs for the loudspeakers then a pre with balanced outputs would be the ideal.  The Choices are endless and as Martin C said, very wisely, trying to change loads of things at once is likely to lead to confusion.

Good luck in your quest  

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Super Wammer
4 hours ago, Rayymondo said:

 For me, using only a single digital source , an active (analogue) pre was much preferable than going direct from streamer to power amp. 

Added warmth and body and  the boogie factor (musicality if you will). 

Tried passive ones and found them a waste of time (in my system at least) 

Wouldn't go back to digital volume now.....

Out of interest, did you have the volume down fairly low when using the volume control on the streamer? 

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Super Wammer
Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Rayymondo said:

 For me, using only a single digital source , an active (analogue) pre was much preferable than going direct from streamer to power amp. 

Added warmth and body and  the boogie factor (musicality if you will). 

Tried passive ones and found them a waste of time (in my system at least) 

Wouldn't go back to digital volume now.....

... sorry, duplicate post as I thought it hadn't posted first time around. 

Edited by Gizza
Duplicate

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Hi @Gizza I don't really know what you mean. There is a built in digital volume on some of the Linn DS. I would obviously vary the volume to taste and mood and time of day etc. I guess you are suggesting at higher volume it will sound better due to no bits being "chopped" ? This may be the case but with a 200+ watt amp I couldn't turn the volume up very high without a certain harshness coming through. Some may see that as purely accurate of course and like the immediacy but I found it lacked a certain warmth that I prefer. It also sounded a bit leaner via the digital volume, a bit beefier with more bass via the pre amp. I definitely prefer it that way. Softened the edges I guess so may not be to everyone's  taste but I find as I get older I prefer things to sound a bit mellower and  easier on the ear. :)

I think the overall balance now tilts a bit to the warm but after living with leaner "cooler" systems previously this comes as a welcome change.

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Super Wammer
1 minute ago, Rayymondo said:

Hi @Gizza I don't really know what you mean. There is a built in digital volume on some of the Linn DS. I would obviously vary the volume to taste and mood and time of day etc. I guess you are suggesting at higher volume it will sound better due to no bits being "chopped" ? This may be the case but with a 200+ watt amp I couldn't turn the volume up very high without a certain harshness coming through. Some may see that as purely accurate of course and like the immediacy but I found it lacked a certain warmth that I prefer. It also sounded a bit leaner via the digital volume, a bit beefier with more bass via the pre amp. I definitely prefer it that way. Softened the edges I guess so may not be to everyone's  taste but I find as I get older I prefer things to sound a bit mellower and  easier on the ear. :)

I think the overall balance now tilts a bit to the warm but after living with leaner "cooler" systems previously this comes as a welcome change.

Yes, I was guessing that without the preamp, you were having to chop off digital bits, which probably led to poorer sound quality. With your 200+ watt amp, I can see that there was no choice. 

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Posted (edited)

@newlash09 if you’re looking for a tube pre with a remote, you could try the Croft Micro 25 or 25R.  They can be supplied with a single volume control and a remote control (controlling volume only, not input selection) by Adrian at Audio Flair.  He offers demo units to try at home.   PM me if you’re interested and I can put you in touch.  Full disclosure, I have one of these (25R) and love it, so clearly biased.  

Over the last couple of weeks I experimented with removing my pre and going straight from RME dac to power.  Initially I enjoyed extra detail, but something was missing.  As @rabski described, the sound was a bit flat and lifeless.   

The pre is now reconnected and it’s just more three dimensional and liquid - the magic is back.  

Edited by jas0_0
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So true , there is an extra magic with using a pre amp 

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Super Wammer
18 minutes ago, hifinutt said:

So true , there is an extra magic with using a pre amp 

Phil, it is called colouration!

I’m not saying it can’t be pleasant but it is tone controls by another name (and also perhaps a bit of distortion depending on the preamp). ;)

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i guess thats true but i like it !! never ever forgotten using a high end pre amp in my system and walking in and just feeling the singer in front of me . i remember once i put my dac in to power my class AB amps and yes it was detailed and powerful but putting back a puresound L10 just made you want to dance , it was just so much more musical 

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Had an interesting day yesterday with George47 of this parish, which is relevant to this thread:

I recently bought a 3 Channel Nord One Up with the Rev D boards and SI Opamps - due an earlier visit by George; he is costing me money!

Started with the Oppo > Nord. Sounded good. Oppo acting as stream aggregator, preamp & DAC.

Swapped in the Linn Klimax Renew/EAR868, clearly better, more 3D, more texture and detail; but, the Oppo was perhaps a bit cleaner and linear in the very low bass. The Linn/EAR was also a tad nearer an edge so that issues in a recording were more obvious. The recording in question was The Baby in the Bubble, Paul Simon.

Now put in the Hattor pre which was akin to a grown up Oppo. It was not as textured or 3d as the EAR but had the detail and the Oppo linearity. With the Linn/EAR you were drawn into an organic soundscape. With the Linn/Hattor it wasn't quiet as inviting, but it seemed to highlight the individual musicians, and their musical interactions.

Now it was time to use the Linn Klimax Renew as a preamp as well, cut out the middle man, YES .....and then VERY quickly turn the page, yuk!

George bought three power cables: A Supra 2.5 £70; Audio Note £450; and, Nordost £1400. All used on the Nord.

The effects were minor, but noticeable. The Audionote was warmer and less dynamic than my standard. The Nordost was more dynamic, but also a tad more sterile. The shielded Supra gave the highpoints of both the AN and the N, and was my immediate preference, so I have bought two; one for the Nord and one for the EAR.

Yet MORE money gone!

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8 hours ago, MartinC said:

Have you decided for definite if you are going to end up tr-amping your speakers or sticking to bi-amping? This may affect your choice of pre-amp.

Right now I'm inclined to suggest you get your power amp / speakers sorted out first and see what you think of the sound. Trying to change loads of things at once is likely to lead to confusion IMHO. Also, if you like the sound without a pre-amp then you might decide that you don't need one.

Hi MartinC

Iam yet undecided if I am going to triamp at the moment. But even if I want to, I already have two amps sitting on the bench, so I can try one of them for the treble. 

But as suggested yesterday by Insider9 and others, I am thinking I should probably first attempt biamping and see how it goes. If it gives the results I am looking for, then certainly triamping will be the future. 

Since I am visiting the states frequently these days, I am tempted to buy stuff I might need in the future. As most of this gear is not available where I live. Hence the urgency to decide on a preamp :)

And also i won't be needing balanced connections, though most preamps have these on the side. Most of the amps I have are unbalanced rca only. 

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6 hours ago, uzzy said:

Or if you do decide you prefer the sound with a preamp if you are biamping your loudspeakers if you used balanced inputs for the loudspeakers then a pre with balanced outputs would be the ideal.  The Choices are endless and as Martin C said, very wisely, trying to change loads of things at once is likely to lead to confusion.

Good luck in your quest  

Thanks for your good wishes uzzy  :)

I won't be needing balanced connections at the moment . So mainly considering rca only. 

Yeah too many new components in the mix will be confusing. Honestly...Iam very very confused at the moment . Iam seeing loads of great gear, going at good prices in the US. Almost like a kid in a candy store .

But I think I am sure that I want a preamp..And a solid state at that  . Don't want to worry about tubes in the preamp too. But which one is still undecided :)

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2 hours ago, jas0_0 said:

@newlash09 if you’re looking for a tube pre with a remote, you could try the Croft Micro 25 or 25R.  They can be supplied with a single volume control and a remote control (controlling volume only, not input selection) by Adrian at Audio Flair.  He offers demo units to try at home.   PM me if you’re interested and I can put you in touch.  Full disclosure, I have one of these (25R) and love it, so clearly biased.  

Over the last couple of weeks I experimented with removing my pre and going straight from RME dac to power.  Initially I enjoyed extra detail, but something was missing.  As @rabski described, the sound was a bit flat and lifeless.   

The pre is now reconnected and it’s just more three dimensional and liquid - the magic is back.  

Thanks a ton for your kind offer Jas  :)

Unfortunately I am not from the UK. So demoing a croft pre will be difficult.  Iam presently ploughing the US used market. Looking for preamps. Lots of options available. But not sure which one yet :)

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2 minutes ago, newlash09 said:

Thanks a ton for your kind offer Jas  :)

Unfortunately I am not from the UK. So demoing a croft pre will be difficult.  Iam presently ploughing the US used market. Looking for preamps. Lots of options available. But not sure which one yet :)

You’re welcome - have fun finding one.  Slightly envious!

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